So… People are starting to worry about your soul, eh? You haven’t been attending church, regularly, since your baby was born. People are starting to suggest that you might be a bad Christian role model. Well, it’s lucky you’ve found this blog. I, the baby whispering, church attending, extraordinaire, will instruct you on how to survive Sunday with a baby in 26 easy steps. You ready? Let’s begin.
Step 1: Make arrangements to go to bed early on Saturday. The dread of the next day will easily have you staring at your ceiling, restless, for half the night so it’s best to get an early start.
Step 2: It’s silly to waste valuable awake time… So around 2 a.m. when you find yourself wide awake from anxiety, go ahead and get out of bed to make Sunday preparations. You should prepare for Sunday as if you are prepping for the apocalypse. Pull everything out of the diaper bag to account for all your necessities, add two of everything you originally had, then put everything back.
Step 3: While you’re awake, pick out the clothes you will wear. This task may result in an impromptu laundry washing session.
Step 4: Finally hit REM sleep only to be awakened by your sweet little one at 5 a.m. Give this darling child a bottle. And you better enjoy it, too. If you don’t enjoy feeding your baby and rocking her back to sleep at 5 a.m., then you’re a monster.
Step 5: Tiptoe back to bed after the feeding session. As soon as your head hits the pillow, your baby will wake up for the day. Wide awake. Chewing on the crib rails. Banging on the wall. Babbling, “Dadadadamamamama.” Ignore this behavior and try to sleep through it for approximately 15 minutes until baby starts to cry.
Step 6: Rock baby to sleep again. Repeat step 5.
Step 7: Finally, bring baby into your bed. Snuggle her up between you and your hubby. For about 5 minutes, you can enjoy the blissfulness of quality, family snuggle time. After 5 minutes, your baby will get bored and start to pull your hair, stick her fingers up daddy’s nose, and try to dive off of the bed.
Step 8: You and hubby are basically zombies due to sleep deprivation, but you cut your losses and get out of bed. Put baby in a bouncer, where she will whine and stare at you with a look of heart shattering neglect and loneliness. I know it makes you feel like a crappy mom, but the bouncer is really the only solution to give you enough time to shower, dry your hair, get dressed, and apply make up. The baby will be fine, but you might cry a little.
Step 9: Feed your baby a rice cereal breakfast. You and your hubby are basically ready to go. You will feed baby while hubby makes your breakfast. You will then eat, quickly, while discussing the pros and cons of attending Sunday class with the baby. The conversation will inevitably turn into an argument of, “is it better to let baby sleep or take her to church?” Ultimately, the conversation is pointless. We all know who determines the family schedule… You look over to see your baby falling asleep in her highchair.
Step 10: It’s too soon for baby’s bottle, but you decide to offer it anyway. You figure it’s best to feed her early, so that maybe she’ll nap early and be awake for Sunday service. Or maybe it’s best to keep her awake so you can go to class?
Step 11: After baby’s bottle, which was given 30 minutes too soon, you try to put her to sleep. You rock, you sing, you bounce. Baby spits up on the church clothes you meticulously picked out the night before.
Step 12: Baby screams from her crib. She knows it isn’t her real nap time. She knows you’ve tried to trick her. Hubby takes over while you change clothes and then collapse on the couch out of exhaustion and frustration. You look at the clock. You’ve missed Sunday class, but if baby falls asleep right now, you might still make it to service.
Step 13: You wake up after accidentally falling asleep on the couch. Your second church outfit is now wrinkled. O well. No time to change. You need to leave for church in 5 minutes. Baby is still asleep. Hubby recounts his tale of running up and down the stairs numerous times until the baby finally fell asleep 10 minutes ago.
Step 14: Argue with hubby about whether or not to wake up the baby for church. During the argument, you should frantically look up other church service times and consider meeting with a different congregation.
Step 15: Reach an amiable agreement that hubby will go to church this morning and that you will go tonight.
Step 16: Hubby is walking out the door and realizes he left his wallet upstairs… near the baby’s room. Hubby tiptoes to go get it. Baby stirs…
Step 17: You sit at home, in your wrinkled church clothes, wondering if hubby made it to church on time.
Step 18: Recount the events of the morning. Play it over and over again in your head. Try to devise a better plan for next week.
Step 19: Think of all the lovely families that you’ve seen in church on Sunday. Feel completely inadequate as you wonder how they do it.
Step 20: Dig into a bag of chocolate to help you cope with the feelings of inadequacy. While you’re making out with a Hershey bar, hear your baby’s sweet voice through the monitor. You push all the negativity aside when you see her beautiful smile. You choose to spend this precious time reading Bible stories, in your wrinkled church clothes, on the floor.
Step 21: Hubby brings home a delicious lunch and tells you all about today’s sermon. “I wish I could have been there,” you mumble. Then you tell him about your morning flipping through the pages of Baby Bible Stories with a squirming baby on your lap. “I wish I could’ve been here,” he mumbles.
Step 22: Your day carries on as normal… almost. You see, baby hasn’t forgotten about the trickery of an early nap. So, next time she becomes sleepy, instead of taking a bottle and drifting off, she fights for all she’s worth. She screams. She kicks. She laughs. She cries. She does anything but sleep. Hours pass. You are unable to accomplish anything because she is inconsolable.
Step 23: You finally get your wearied child to pass out in your arms after experiencing huge regret over your morning choices. You gently, gently try to transfer her to the crib so you can get some work done… No such luck. Now she’s wide awake, again.
Step 24: Repeat step 23… but this time. She stays asleep. You rush downstairs with plans to make the most of this time. Laundry and dishes need to be done. The floors need to be swept. The dog needs to be let out. You and hubby work frantically to accomplish as much as possible while the little one sleeps.
Step 25: Hubby glances up on the clock and gets an apologetic look on his face. “Oh… you’ve missed evening service.” Feeling defeated, you finally take off your wrinkled church clothes.
Step 26: You spend the next three days attempting to recover from the chaos of your disrupted daily routine. You finally… FINALLY… get the whole family back on track with nap times, feedings, dinnertime, and quality time… It’s Thursday… And Sunday is just 3 days away.